GOP Lawmaker Wants Deer Season Changes

Gregory Vellner
When to start the Pa. deer season? That's the question.Photo byJulian HanslmaieronUnsplash

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Debate over when to open Pennsylvania’s deer hunting season – the Saturday or Monday following Thanksgiving Day – has heard from another party.

He’s David Maloney – the Republican chair of the House Game and Fisheries Committee and a state representative from Berks County. And one more thing – he’s an accomplished hunter. He earned a Triple Trophy for Pennsylvania big game by getting a buck, bear and turkey, all with a bow and arrow, in the same year.

And now he has some changes in mind regarding the deer hunting season. Hunters prefer changing the first day of the rifle deer season back to the Monday after Thanksgiving, he says. (It has started the Saturday after Thanksgiving since 2019.) He also believes senior hunting should have the same antler point restrictions as junior hunters.

When the Pennsylvania Game Commission changed the first day of rifle deer season, it also added that holiday Sunday into the two weeks of the season.

Hunters have told him the holiday weekend is too busy to start the season on Saturday, he said, adding he disagrees with an agency survey which found a majority of hunters like the season starting on Saturday.

“I couldn’t go to four sportsmen banquets in the last month and two memorial services for friends when their parents had passed without hearing about the Saturday opener,” said Maloney.

He said he believes having the rifle season start on Monday and moving the one Sunday to the middle of the two-week season would be preferred by most hunters.

“Overwhelmingly, 90 percent of the people I’ve talked to, that’s what they want,” he said.

The idea has gained traction, as state Rep. Brian Smith (R-Jefferson, Indiana) has introduced House Bill 495 for the Game and Fisheries Committee to consider.

When planning to introduce the measure, Smith wrote: “In changing the starting day to Saturday, they took away the family time that was traditional for many, as hunters now have to leave earlier for deer camp. This also meant losing the family traditions of attending fundraising events and of shopping on Friday and small business Saturday. The loss of revenue to these small business owners, volunteer fire companies and other volunteer organizations has been devastating to their bottom line.”

On point restrictions, Maloney said he wants to give older hunters the opportunity to shoot the size of the buck they desire and has introduced House Bill 493 to achieve that.

(What do you think? How would you vote – Saturday or Monday. “Follow’ here to keep up with this.)

This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.

Comments / 69

Published by

As a professional journalist for several years -- reporter, editor, feature writer, columnist -- I handled a range of subjects. Breaking news, investigative series, government action, feature events, and staff feature writer with national entertainment magazine interviewing stars including Tom Selleck, Mel Brooks and Danny DeVito. No matter the topic, certain ingredients are key: truth, facts, objectivity, balance.

Bucks County, PA

More from Gregory Vellner

Comments / 0